I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

March 28, 2011

An Aquired Taste


Do you love it, or hate it?

I just happen to love it. I love horseradish too, but I guess that's no surprise as they are in the same family. Horseradish with roast beef, corned beef, smoked trout; wasabi with sushi,with spinach, and of course wasabi peas for snacking on!

Kath, from has asked some of her fellow bloggers to do a Japanese recipe post to link in with her solidarity with Japan. http://myfunnylittlelife.com/category/kaths-stuff/solidarity-with-japan/ I thought of sushi, miso, teriaki, but then....... my thoughts headed in another direction.

I have been fighting it, I don't like to follow trends, I like to forge my own culinary paths, but .. but.. 'But all the other chefs are doing it' I justified. And so, ashamed, I did it, I caved into peer pressure. I had to see for myself what all the hype was about. The Macaron. They're everywhere at the moment, Master Chef has been promoting them, they're in every magazine, everyone is blogging and flogging them. And now , I too, have joined the darkside. Please forgive me. My excuse is that it's in a good cause, and if it had to be done, I might as well do it in style.

Thus was born the Wasabi Pea Macaron.

Now, there are amazing tutorials all over the internet and magazines and blogs and cooking shows, etc, etc, etc. So I'm just going to give you a quick rundown of my cheaty little sneaky way of making them using leftover meringue.

Every time I do a big bake for one of my clients I have extra Italian Meringue. Although it's very yummy, I usually wash it down the sink or feed it to my walking garbage bin, aka, the dog. This week I saved it for making my macarons instead.

I make my meringue the easy way, with no temperature testing. I just use 5 cups of sugar to 1 1/3 cups of water with a pinch of cream of tartar. I put this on high heat on the stove and bring it to the boil. I watch it, and as soon as the liquid is clear not cloudy, I pull it off and tip it slowly into 10 egg whites in the Kenwood as it runs at low speed. Once the sugar syrup is in, I increase the speed to high and beat it until it's shiny and holds a really good peak. That's it. The only thing to watch for is that the saucepan has no sugar above the water level or it might crystallize. I don't know how much this makes to be honest, it tops 4 dozen small lemon meringue pies, and there was 3 1/2 cups left over.

The other important part of a macaron is the TPT. This is equal weights of pure icing sugar and ground almonds sifted together. I still needed to get my wasabi peas in there, so I ground them up in my food processor. As you can see in the finished product, I should have gone a bit finer, they're not as smooth as they should be, but this was only a guestimate recipe this time round so I wasn't too fussed.

I mixed equal quantities of TPT and ground peas together, a cup of each, and sifted them. This was then folded with the 3 1/2 cups of meringue until well combined with no streaks of white showing. Pipe this into rounds on baking paper lined cookie sheets.

I then wet the top of each macaron and sprinkled them with some funky little wasabi flavoured sesame seeds I found at the asian supermarket and have been saving for something special. Leave these on the bench for about an hour to develop a skin, and so you can get the little ridge, or 'feet' to the macaron. Be careful putting the sheet in the oven, because if you just push it in the macarons can slip and not rise straight up and pretty.

Bake for 15 mins at 150*.

Leave to cool on the paper, then carefully peel off.

I sandwiched these little cuties together with a white chocolate ganache made from melted Sweet William white chocolate, a bit of butter, and a teaspoon of water. Sweet William is not really 'chocolate', rather a dairy, gluten and nut free substitute. Never mix water and genuine chocolate together like that it will seize up and be a waste of yumminess!

Well Readers, here are my cuties. They are posed with some of littlej's paper cranes. littlej is studying Japanese at school, and so has been following all the developments closely. As the class was discussing the disaster, littlej came up with the sweet idea of them all making as many paper cranes as they could to take to the Japanese embassy to show how much they care. The lovely teacher jumped on the idea and they dropped them off the following day. I know it's not much, but sometimes just knowing others are thinking of us in times of need can help us get through the day.

So what do you think Readers, would you like to try a Wasabi Pea Macaron?


  1. Great job Rebecca! I don't mind a bit of wasabi but I don't enjoy that sinus clearing sensation at all whereas some (hubby included) love it! :P

  2. Wow, thank you so much! This looks absolutely stunning and so creative! I'd never have thought of combining these flavors! And of course I'll give you a shout out with my next post! :)

  3. I think they sound ...and LOOK...amazing! I LOVE LOVE LOVE wasabi!

  4. Love Wasabi! But only fresh grated root! I am spoilt because I got sent some from Shima Wasabi, they grow it in Tasmania. Your macaroons are so perfectly shaped, nice work ;)

  5. These look amazing, i love wasabi too. Its a fantastic idea, and i love the paper cranes, it is a beautiful gesture.

  6. I'm so pleased you 'joined the macaron goldrush' Chef because I'd almost become totally freaked out that these little guys were so finicky that they would be beyond me, I'm absolutely going to give them a go now. Love the idea of white choc & wasabi. Brilliant :)

  7. 5 goldstars for creativity! Absolutely love this novel flavour :) Feels like it's time I brave it up and try my hands on at least the simplest macaron...

  8. Oh my, Wasabi Pea Macarons - I am deeply impressed! I am still coming around to wasabi...I'm working on it!! I would just love to try one of these though.
    Heidi xo

  9. The boy loved wasabi, I like it but am not crazy over it. But I'm impressed - wasabi pea macarons - so creative. And they look lovely.

  10. Aaah, you're a mad woman, but those macarons look perfect! Oh, and I love wasabi too.. :) xxx

  11. Your macarons look delicious, but I'm too scared to try wasabi! I can't even handle pepper well!

    P.S. I awarded you the Stylish Blogger award on my blog :)

  12. Nice to see your creations and trials with wasabi! Love the macarons.

  13. Hello Readers,
    It seems wasabi is a bit controversial still.
    *Lorraine, glad hubby loves it, but don't give up on it just yet!
    *Kath, hope you get heaps of coverage on your solidarity pages
    *Lisa, it's soooo good!
    *Christie, lucky thing, fresh would be fantastic
    *Muppy, I thought is was so cute and thoughtful that it should be included too
    *Anna, give them a go, they're not as tricky as they seem, but very yummy!
    *Min, I bet you could come up with an awesome flavour combo!
    *Heidi, wish I could send you a few
    *IndieTea, thanks, they should be nice and smooth though I just didn't process the peas enough
    *Celia, it would be such a boring world without a bit of madness! :)
    *JasmyneTea, thankyou sweetie! Build up your pepper resistance gradually, bit by bit, but leave wasabi till last!
    *Ellie, thanks, it was lots of fun to play around with.